I’m beginning a trestle table project in the near future and would like some suggestions on keeping the top flat. My wife prefers a more modern look without aprons so it’s not as straightforward as usual.
The overhangs from the base frame on either end will likely be ~11″ without support and an overall table width of ~36″-38″. Would screwed battens with oblong holes for expansion be the best way to go while remaining largely unseen, or is an 11″ overhang too short to even need to worry about the cupping issue?
Thanks for your input.
The top will finish at about 1 1/4” or a bit over. The glue up of a sliding dovetail would be tricky. I’d rather not have grooves running out to the edges or have peoples’ fingers finding them while feeling under the table. If I’m misunderstanding what you mean please let me know.
Why would you glue the siding dovetail? The whole point of the sliding dovetail is to allow the table top to expand / contract. If you wanted to hide the grooves from prying fingers, then you can cut them as stopped joints, or cheat a bit and rip the two outside pieces of the table top lengthwise, edge glue the rest of the table top, cut a through groove across the bottom of the top, fit the sliding parts, then glue the two outside pieces back on.
Colin, Czech Rep.
If I decided that a batten were needed, I would keep it simple and simply screw the batten on, making sure that the slots were elongated to allow for movement. With a 1 1/4″ thick top, there is plenty of thickness to take a screw.
That said, I don’t have a good enough picture of the design to decide whether anything is needed. In many trestle table designs, the trestle legs themselves are long enough at the top to provide the effect of a batten. Shaker trestle tables are good examples.
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